Northwick Park Hospital

Coordinates: 51°34′34″N 0°19′19″W / 51.576°N 0.322°W / 51.576; -0.322
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Northwick Park Hospital
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
Northwick Park Hospital
Northwick Park Hospital is located in London Borough of Brent
Northwick Park Hospital
Location within Brent
LocationWatford Road, Harrow HA1 3UJ, London, England
Care systemNHS England
TypeDistrict General
Affiliated universityImperial College London
Emergency departmentYes
Opened10 October 1970; 53 years ago (1970-10-10)
ListsHospitals in England

Northwick Park Hospital (NWPH) is a major[1] National Health Service hospital situated in the town of Harrow, North West London, managed by the London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. It is located off Watford Road in the London Borough of Brent;[2][3][4] closely bordering the London Borough of Harrow.


The hospital was commissioned by the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board in the late 1960s, designed by the British architect John Weeks and built by Trollope & Colls.[5] The design of the hospital was largely inspired by British obsolescence studies, in which a loose-jointed medical complex was created with flexibility to withstand obsolescence's unpredictable effects.[6] With only a fixed internal street system, the architects referred to the hospital as "an indeterminate architecture" with "no final plan" – free to grow and change over time.[7] It was opened by the Queen on 10 October 1970.[8] It takes its name from Northwick Park, which is next to it.[9]

In 1994, St Mark's Hospital, previously located 10 miles away in central London, moved into a wing of the hospital formerly occupied by the Medical Research Council.[10]

In 1997, the hospital returned the worst figures for operations cancelled in the UK. The closure of Edgware General Hospital earlier that year was cited by some as a reason.[11]

In 2005, the hospital's maternity department was named as having one of the highest death rates in the United Kingdom.[12] During the period April 2002 to March 2004, the maternal death rate for the maternity unit was 74.2 per 100,000, 6.5 times the national average of 11.4 per 100,000, as reported by Cemach (Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health). A range of "special measures" designed to improve maternity services and public confidence in the services was agreed with the Trust and these were all complied with within a year, but as of 2016 the Trust's maternity and gynaecology services were rated as "requires improvement" by the Care Quality Commission.[13]

A 2016 Care Quality Commission report rated Northwick Park Hospital as "requires improvement" overall, with only one out of eight assessment areas attaining a better rating. The report highlighted a number of concerns found during inspection visits, including that surgical staff were not always reporting incidents, patients experienced long waits, compliance with safeguarding training was poor, examples of poor infection control practice, a poor environment on the stroke wards, and that nutrition and hydration was poorly managed. The Commission subsequently issued the Trust with a Section 29 (A) warning notice.[14]


The hospital provides a full range of services including paediatrics, maxillofacial, orthopaedics, neurology, cardiology, elderly care medicine and a regional rehabilitation unit for patients with additional ongoing acute medical needs.[15] St Mark's Hospital, a national centre of gastrointestinal medicine, is based at the same site,[10] as is the British Olympic Association's Olympic Medical Institute.[16]

Local charity Radio Harrow is based within the hospital and has provided a patient visiting and broadcasting service since 1971.[17]

Northwick Park is one of the few hospitals in England to have a paternoster lift transport system. Despite being out of use for several years,[18] it was brought back into service during 2020.[19]


Medical research has been conducted at Northwick Park Hospital since its founding.[20] In 1994, some research programs were formalised into an independent charity, Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research (NPIMR), which now operates under the brand name of The Griffin Institute.[20][21] The institute, founded by Colin Green, does translational research.[21]

TGN incident[edit]

On 13 March 2006, six men in a clinical trial at the independent Parexel drug trial unit (which is not run by London North West Healthcare NHS Trust) became severely unwell following administration of theralizumab during a first-in-human clinical trial. They were transferred to the intensive therapy unit at Northwick Park. Affected patients developed multi-organ failure and required intensive medical support by the critical care team at Northwick Park, led by Dr Ganesh Suntharalingam.[22]

Notable staff and patients[edit]

  • Simon Le Bon worked as a theatre porter at Northwick Park Hospital before becoming the lead singer for Duran Duran.[23]
  • "Jeeves", the UK's first ever robot nurse, worked at the hospital for six months in 1996-1997 until it "failed" its probation period.[24][25]
  • General Augusto Pinochet was a patient at Northwick Park Hospital in January 2000 while fighting extradition for murder and torture.[26]

In popular culture[edit]

Northwick Park is the setting for the Channel 4 British sitcom Green Wing.[27]

The hospital features in the seventh series of ITV's Prime Suspect.[27]

In the 1976 film The Omen, the external scene when Katherine's body falls from a window and crashes into a parked ambulance was filmed at Northwick Park Hospital.[27]

In episode 6, series 1 of Fawlty Towers ("The Germans"), Sybil Fawlty a shot of the entrance of Northwick Park Hospital is used for the opening of the episode.[28]

Northwick Park Hospital features in the ITV2 reality show Emergency Nurses, which started airing in June 2022.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Coronavirus: "Critical incident" declared at Northwick Park Hospital in London after running out of intensive care beds". ITV. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital - Overview". NHS. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Planning – Application Summary - Northwick Park Hospital". Brent Council. Archived from the original on 4 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  4. ^ "London Borough of Brent: Northwick Park". Local Government Association. 21 August 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Trollope & Colls". National Archives. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  6. ^ Abramson, Daniel (2012). "From Obsolescence to Sustainability, Back Again, and Beyond". Design and Culture. 4 (3): 279–298.
  7. ^ Weeks, J. (1999). "Changing Spaces". HD: The Journal for Healthcare Design & Development. 30: 15–16.
  8. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital". Hansard. 22 June 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Northwick Park". Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b "St. Mark's Hospital". Lost hospitals of London. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  11. ^ "That was 1997, that was". News Shopper. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Saving Mothers Lives 2003–2005 – Report on confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in the United Kingdom". ChiMat. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital Overview and CQC Inspections". Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  14. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital Quality Report" (PDF). Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital". NHS Choices. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Olympic Medical Institute". London on line. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Radio Harrow listing on the Charity Commission", Charity Commission for England and Wales
  18. ^ "Genius or guillotine: would you get in a Paternoster lift?". Flux. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Paternoster lifts hospital's spirits". London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  20. ^ a b "History". The Griffin Institute. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  21. ^ a b "NRI entrepreneur, two others honoured in UK". Times of India. 9 September 2012.
  22. ^ Dixon, Rob (17 April 2008). "Ryan Wilson Drug Trial Victim". Sheffield: Irwin Mitchell. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  23. ^ "Duran Duran". International Times. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Robot joins union. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Hospital robot "Jeeves" used for "mundane but unavoidable tasks" during 90's". Watford Observer. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  26. ^ Wilson, Jamie (6 January 2000). "Pinochet in hospital check-up". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  27. ^ a b c "Northwick Park Hospital". UK Parliament. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Fawlty Towers filming location". Find that location. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  29. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital staff star in upcoming ITV2 reality series". Harrow Times. Retrieved 15 June 2022.

External links[edit]

51°34′34″N 0°19′19″W / 51.576°N 0.322°W / 51.576; -0.322